Protesters try to intimidate pro-Israeli protesters-without success
"Long Live Hamas! Long Live Jihad!
That was what a pro-Palestinian protester shouted into the faces of pro-Israeli protesters today at a demonstration in front of the Federal Building in Westwood on Saturday. I was there not ten feet away. I heard it, and I saw the man clearly.
It was an ugly scene all around beginning at 1 pm when several hundred people gathered on Wilshire Blvd. They were basically a collection of Arabs and retreads from the 1960s, professional protesters from ANSWER Coalition, an organization dedicated to protesting anything and everything. If you dig women with blue hair and women who don't shave their armpits, this was for you. (Those were the Americans.)
In this demonstration I was there strictly as a cameraman and not openly taking any sides as I wanted to mingle with everyone.
The first thing that happened involved a gentleman who had showed up at the end of the Arab Christian rally with a sign that had insulting statements about the Prophet Mohammad. (This guy shows up at a lot of events in the LA area.) The leaders of the Christian demonstration were not at all pleased with his presence because it was not the message that they wanted to send. At any rate when the Palestinian protest got going, the man was swarmed by several protesters who were chanting in his face. I tried to get the attention of cops or security, but nobody was around. When I returned the man was minus his sign. Eventually, the cops arrived and stayed close to him until he left. All the time he was being harassed, he never budged.
The demonstration came just as the previous demonstration was winding up by several hundred Christian Arabs, Assyrians, Chaldeans and mostly folks from Iraq and Syria who were protesting the genocide against Christians in the Middle East. I will post on that separately.
To sum it up, this pro-Palestinian demonstration featured chants of "Free Free Palestine" and several other top forty hits, which I don't recall. Not much original. There was a guy with the green flag that read in Arabic, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger".
It was when a few dozen pro-Israeli folks showed up that things got ugly. One man and his wife with an Israeli flag were immediately surrounded by demonstrators who got in their faces and screamed at them as they made their way all the way across the street. I stayed close and filmed and at one point tried to get the attention of the LAPD and LASD who were keeping a low profile across Wilshire Blvd.
Unlike the recent pro-Israel protest on July 13, the police did not try to separate the two groups. There were a few hundred pro-Palestinians and a few dozen pro-Israelis. The pro-Palestinians kept crossing the street to confront the pro-Israelis, and at that point, the cops stayed close by. At one point when things were getting tense, I was standing next to a Sheriff's deputy and another deputy came over and told her that if anything happened not to go into the crowd.
At about 3 pm, the crowd crossed the street and started marching west on the north side lane of Wilshire Blvd. with full police escort, cars, motorcycles, helicopters and all. In other words, the west bound lane of Wilshire Blvd was closed for the protesters. The 405 off ramp at Wilshire was also blocked.You would have thought it was a presidential funeral. This was in marked contrast to the July 13 pro-Israel demonstration when people were confined to the sidewalk. Different rules for different people, I guess.
The protest lasted until 5, and the pro-Palestinian contingent had to be escorted by police from the scene as the mob followed yelling, "Shame on you!".
Shame on them. They acted like uncivilized idiots.
I will be posting videos shortly.